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Common dovetail drawer Q&A

What is a dovetail in a drawer?

A dovetail is a very strong joint used on the edge of each side of a drawer. Dovetail joints are noted for their tensile strength (resistance to being pulled apart) and their attractive appearance.  Dovetails can be cut to a number of different styles, but the most popular is the half blind traditional.

Quality dovetails are a key feature of Probox drawer boxes.

oak cutout

How to make dovetail drawers?

A wide variety of methods can be used to make dovetail drawers. They are generally considered by the woodworking industry as time consuming and difficult to make. The dovetails can be cut by hand with dovetailing saw and chisel or you can use a dovetail jig and router.

Probox are known for the quality of their dovetail joints. They are created by combining industrial fully computerised precision dovetail  machines and a hand gluing and finishing process.

By outsourcing dovetail drawers, kitchen and furniture manufacturers can focus on producing the other aspects of the bespoke kitchen or furniture, saving  the company time and enabling them to deliver their jobs more quickly.

Most dovetail machines produce dovetails of a standard pitch – most frequently 25mm. There is no problem with this at all, but the state-of-the-art dovetail machines that Probox use are CNC controlled providing variable pitch dovetails that allows total freedom for the drawer heights.

Another advantage of the machinery at Probox is the ability to produce “traditional” dovetails with pins wider than the sockets. This makes the dovetail joints more hand crafted in appearance, and is favoured by cabinet makers trying to get away from a “mass-produced” image.

walnutWhat is the best wood for drawer boxes?

Solid timber is the best wood for the sides of drawer boxes. At Probox we start with solid timber and remove the bark from the sides using special equipment before sanding the wood, dovetailing it and making it into a box.  Probox offer a range of solid wood types including oak, beech, maple or walnut. Another cheaper alternative is birch ply, this isn’t a solid wood, but it provides a nice finish and is popular mainly for drawers used for bedroom furniture.

 

birch plyIs plywood a solid wood?

Birch Ply is constructed using solid birch veneers and then overlaid with a quality birch face veneer on either side and offers a high quality face finish and a high structural stability. Birch Ply is not a solid wood, but it is a cheaper alternative, running at 25% cheaper than solid oak. The nature of the layers in the timber construction mean that dovetail joints reveal an aesthetically pleasing pattern from the end grain.

Ready made drawer boxes VS bespoke

Often, due to the bespoke nature of a kitchen or furniture project each set of drawer boxes is made bespoke to match that particular project. Selecting the matching timber type and the size of the drawer. Probox offer a range of off the shelf drawers called Classic Swift, these drawers are readymade and on the shelf, waiting for a quick dispatch. Probox also offer Eko, a drawer box kit with dowel joints in oak wood.

 

 

 

 

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